By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
Dr. Murray Bowen once said that longevity has more potential lasting impact than frequency. For the past thirty-five years, the North Shore Pastors have been gathering together in order to better serve our community. Some people mistakenly think that North Shore churches and pastors are competitors. One of the things that troubled me as a new Christian was the infighting between all the different denominations. Why couldn’t the Anglicans, Baptists, Pentecostals, Mennonites, Presbyterians, etc learn to get along and stop competing? One of the wonderful gifts of living on the North Shore is that denominational bickering is at an all-time low. Clergy and pastors speak well of each other’s congregations. There is a generosity among North Shore pastors that allows us to bless each other instead of cursing each other. This hasn’t happened by accident. It is the fruit of thirty-five years of prayer by the North Shore clergy, first at Hillside Church and now at Valley Church. Because we meet together, share together and pray together, we have become each other’s best friends and advocates. God has used the North Shore Pastors Prayer Fellowship to deepen our love for each other and our conviction that there is really only one Church on the North Shore. While there are many diverse congregations, we believe that our unity in Christ is greater than our individual differences.
Some of the original founders of the North Shore Pastors Prayer Fellowship included Arnie Toews of North Shore Alliance Church, Jim Lucas of Canyon Heights Church, John Hardy of Hillside Baptist, and Bob Allison of St. Andrews & St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church. All these have since either retired or moved to other communities. Those currently attending the fellowship picked up the torch from the pioneers who believed that we could better serve the North Shore in unity rather than apart.
By praying together for an hour, God has been teaching the North Shore pastors how much we need each other. We busy North Shore Clergy have been learning that we are too busy not to pray. By focusing on Jesus Christ, we have been rediscovering that we are on the same team. Denominations are second. Jesus is first.
Pastor Owen Scott of Valley Church says that being part of the North Shore Pastors Prayer Fellowship has been one of the most helpful things for him, knowing that he is not alone. Rev. Ken Bell of St. Timothy’s Anglican Church says that praying together gives us an opportunity to share with one another and participate with each other on the North Shore. Pastor Scott Anderson of Cap Church says that our gracious embrace of one another is evidence of our experience of God’s gracious embrace.
Every denomination has its own strengths and weaknesses. Instead of putting down another group for their flaws, we are learning to hold them up in prayer that they may become all that they are meant to be. Presbyterians don’t need to become Anglicans, and Anglicans don’t need to become Baptists. Our real calling is to love each other with the life-changing love of Jesus Christ. Many churches have formed because someone was hurt. We have been learning over the past thirty-five years that it is time to forgive, time to heal, time to pray. Why fight when we can pray? We as the North Shore Church are family, God’s forever family. My prayer for those reading this article is that we may rediscover the deep truth that the family that prays together stays together.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector
BSW, MDiv, DMin
-an article for the October 2013 Deep Cove Crier
-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).
Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.
Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version. You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.
To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.
– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.
-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca